Water Well Drilling Frequently Asked Questions

Water Well Drilling - Ground Water Questions and Answers

Drilling a well on your property seems like a daunting task at first. Luckily, Oasis Well Drilling has compiled a list of frequently asked questions to address some of your questions and concerns.

If you have any additional concerns, be sure to contact us without delay to consult with a helpful member of our team.

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Where are you located?

We are located near Sequim, Washington. We serve the Northern Olympic Peninsula in both Jefferson and Clallam Counties.

How do I decide where to drill?

Several factors determine where to drill:

  1. Terrain & Accessibility to Well Site – Now and in the Future
  2. Legal Distances from Both Property Lines and Septic Systems
  3. Location of Future or Present Homes and Buildings

Do I need a permit to drill a well?

Yes, the state of Washington requires permits to construct a well.

The permit through the State Department of Ecology is $200. Jefferson County requires an additional application fee.

What is ground water?

Ground water is water below the land surface that fills the spaces between grains of sediment and rocks or fills cracks and fractures in the rock.

Saturated zones in sediment such as sand and gravel, called Aquifers -- and in fractured rock formations -- store and transmit water to underground wells.

How do we get ground water?

In most cases, a well is needed to reach the aquifer where ground water is found.

Most wells are made by drilling into the rock layers using drilling machines to access water deep beneath the surface.

Electric pumps are commonly used to raise the water to the surface.

How deep will I have to go to find water?

Most wells vary in one way or another. Geological formations of your area generally will determine to what depth you will need to drill to yield the best results.

From our experience - and from researching the recorded well logs in your area -- we can provide you with a more precise idea of what would be necessary to construct your well and a more accurate estimate of cost involved.

You may access well logs on the Department of Ecology's website: www.ecy.wa.gov

How much water will I need?

That will depend on your needs. The average usage is 100 gallons per day per person. Landscaping should also be consideration in your daily needs.

For single-family residences, Jefferson County requires 400 gallons per day (GPD) or .27 gallons per minute (GPM). Clallam County requires 800 GPD or .55 GPM.

Most lenders require 3 to 5 GPM. With extra storage, i.e. 2 or more pressure tanks or a 1000 -2000 galon reservoir tank your  water systems could supply 10 + GPM to the house.

What is casing and how much will I need?

Casing is metal pipe designed to sheath the borehole. Casing is installed until rock, water, or a consolidated formation is reached.

A minimum of 20 feet is required. A consolidated formation has the ability to remain open indefinitely.

What is a PVC liner and do I need one?

A PVC liner is similar to casing, only it is made from poly vinyl chloride, a very hard form of plastic that is usually perforated and installed from inside the casing and to the bottom of the well.

This helps prevent anything from falling in or collecting around the pump. It is also sometimes used to install PVC screens.

What is a surface seal?

A surface seal is typically bentonite or a bentonite slurry, a form of processed clay.

It is placed in the oversized borehole around the casing to a minimum depth of 18 feet to protect the well against possible surface contamination.

What is a well screen, and would I need one?

There are a couple varieties of screens made up of either stainless steel or PVC.

Screens are primarily used in wells that contain sands and or gravel; the screens hold back or filter the formation while allowing the water to move feely through to the pump without sediment.

Whether one is needed or not is dependent on the formation drilled and the well's tendency to pump sand or silt.

What is the difference between an air test and a bail test?

An air test is the method of injecting air into the well to force the water to the surface for measurement.

Although effective, this method sometimes produces a gallon per minute amount more or less than an actual bail test.

How much will my well cost?

Because of all the variables involved, you need to contact us with your specific needs and location for an accurate estimate of cost.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.

My well is going dry. What should I do?

There is no one answer that applies to everyone; for that reason, we encourage you to contact us with any specific questions.

Generally, there are a couple of options available to you. It might be possible to deepen your existing well. You may want to have a completely new well drilled.

You may want to consider installing a reservoir tank system. Sometimes there may be other factors that could be contributing to well production problems.

For example, over the years of pumping, the minerals in water may cause the stainless screen or even open bottom wells to get incrustated with Calcium or Iron deposits.

Cleaning and redevelopment may bring your well back to life.